Blue Origin Is Back In the Game Sending Six Tourists Into Space After Nearly Two-Year Hiatus

20th May 2024
Blue Origin Is Back In the Game Sending Six  Tourists Into Space After Nearly Two-Year Hiatus

Following a previous failed uncrewed test flight by Blue Origin, six tourists were launched into the edge of space, becoming astronauts on Sunday (19 May) after the company’s two-year hiatus.

At 9:36 a.m. CT (10:36 a.m. ET), the New Shepard rocket and capsule soared from Blue Origin’s base on a secluded ranch in West Texas, marking the start of NS-25, the seventh crewed flight by the Jeff Bezos-founded company.

New Shepard Crew
New Shepard Crew. Photo credit: Blue Origin

Onboard the capsule were six adventurous individuals: venture capitalist Mason Angel, Sylvain Chiron, the visionary behind the French craft brewery Brasserie Mont-Blanc, software engineer and entrepreneur Kenneth L. Hess, retired accountant Carol Schaller, aviator Gopi Thotakura, and the remarkable Ed Dwight. Notably, Dwight, a retired US Air Force captain, was handpicked by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 as the nation’s first Black astronaut candidate. New Shepard has now flown 37 people into space, including the NS-25 crew.

Making History

Onboard was 90-year-old Ed Dwight, the first Black man to undergo astronaut training. Initially selected by the John F. Kennedy White House in 1961 to join the Aerospace Research Pilot School after serving in the Air Force, Dwight faced racism from colleagues, including Chuck Yaeger, the school’s First Commandant. Despite being recommended by Air Force officials for NASA’s astronaut program, he was not chosen in 1963. Dwight retired from the Air Force in 1966 without going to space until Sunday’s historic flight.

“It’s a life-changing experience,” Ed Dwight commented. “Everybody needs to do this.”

Credits: 6abc Philadelphia YouTube Channel

Now, his remarkable story is being showcased in a captivating new National Geographic documentary titled “The Space Race,” shedding light on the pioneering path of Black astronauts, with Dwight’s narrative at its heart.

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